Experience architecture!


Sos brutalism... sos swimming pool Ostend

For a respectful, sustainable renovation and redevelopment of the municipal swimming pool in Ostend

On January 11, 2016 the Ostend city council decided to discontinue the ongoing bouwmeester- procedure for the renovation of the Ostend municipal pool. The pool complex (architects Paul Felix and Jan Tanghe ‘, designed in 1967-71, built in 1972-76) was on the Flemish inventory Heritage, and was given a high locus value in Ostend plan Architectural Heritage. Although it was not protected, but advocated from 2012 respectful renovation opinions of Heritage and degradation was excluded.

Archipel launched a petition action for repurposing.

Between 2013 and 2015 was as a result, a process completed by the architect, with the ambition to renovate the building with the specific architecture as starting point, and expand and also further develop into a tourist attraction pole. The procedure yielded architectural proposals: in all shades from spectacular to restorative … After the agency Heritage and the Bourgeois cabinet on January 6, gave up their resistance to degradation, the city council on January 11 decided to terminate the proceedings and elsewhere a new build pool. In press interviews demolition and replacement of the current building was envisaged through a city park.
The Ostend municipal pool is however a rare qualitative examples of “brutalism” in our country. Especially the swimming hall with the monumental concrete structure is one of the most interesting architectural facts in the 70s in Flanders. Degradation is an irreparable loss to the architectural heritage in a city that already face a sad reputation. Loss of function, however regrettable, therefore, does not mean a degradation. Buildings can have multiple lives.

The architecture association Archipel would therefore argue for conservation, renovation and conversion of the essence of the swimming pool complex, so that the experience of architecture can be maintained: albeit under a different form. Ostend is obviously the Post Office as a cultural center a shining example of repurposing. The SEO department store and the Military Hospital got a nice second life. The protected Magdalena Pool in Kortrijk (with the same designers Felix and Tanghe) gets a redesignation as college-restaurant; “La Piscine” in Roubaix was museum, “Les Bains de la Sauvenière” in Liège was a vibrant cultural center. This building deserves a future.

Bruno Vanbesien, Marc Felix, Wim Supply, Hera Van Sande,
Géry Vandenabeele, Philip Cardinael en Joost Vanhove

We invite you also to sign the attached petition plea for sustainability, reuse and respect for this Ostend architectural heritage from the seventies.


For a respectful, sustainable renovation and redevelopment of the municipal swimming pool in Ostend

We call the essence of the building complex of the municipal swimming pool in Ostend, designed by the architects Paul Felix and Jan Tanghe (1969-1976), maintaining, renovating and geven. sustainable new feature

Nu In January 2016 showed that the pool function will be canceled in the future, we want to argue that the experience of architecture in another form continues bestaan.

Wij Indicate that the building is a quality example of the “brutalist” architecture in Flanders in the 70s and part of the urban identity of Ostend. It is therefore also included in the inventory and Heritage is listed in Ostend plan Architectural Heritage and Building High locuswaarde.

We Call for a reallocation of new features with the architectural potential and the site to its full right komen.

The Building deserves a constructive toekomst.

Click here to support the petition

Cahier | Press Kit

You can read the full Cahier / Press Kit via this link


  • SOSSOS brutalism pool Ostend.
  • History of a pool from the 70s and an architectural competition 40 years later.
  • Comments by Paul Robbrecht, Peter Lacoere, Bob van Reeth, Filip Canfyn, Sum and Jos Vandenbreeden.
  • The architects Paul Felix and Jan Tanghe.



Sa 30 December 2017